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British Airways DEP Selection - THE lowdown Part 2

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British Airways DEP Selection - THE lowdown Part 2

Old 5th Oct 2004, 16:00
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Post British Airways DEP Selection - THE lowdown Part 2

British Airways DEP Selection

I recently attended the BA DEP selection and before doing so, was surprised to find very limited information in PPRuNe. What I did find, appeared to be significantly out of date, therefore I’m pleased to present a comprehensive write-up I have just completed on what you can expect when you attend “The Rivers” at Cranebank.

Having spoken to the forum moderator (WWW) and taking his suggestion into account, I'll post this over several consecutive posts so that
the thread doesn't take ages to load page one for those on non-broad connections.
Firstly, unless you’re prepared to get up at stupid o’clock in the morning and run the risk of being tired for the long day ahead of you, I’d strongly recommend travelling down the night before and staying in a hotel. I stayed at the IBIS, which was quite reasonable but basic. Book online at Ibis Hotels .The main attraction being that it’s no more than a 5 minute drive away from Cranebank (although I understand that it can take up to 20 minutes during morning rush hour!). It cost £64.95 but they do offer a 10% discount on production of an aircrew ID.

Your BA documentation will tell you that there is no parking at Cranebank. Rubbish! As you enter the complex turn right at the roundabout, just before the security gates, is a multi-storey car park on your right. No barriers and no pass required either. This is about a 2 minute walk from “The Rivers”. You can access it in the evening too, so if worried, why not take a quick peak the night before?

On arrival at the reception, a receptionist will check your name from a list. At this point you will be asked to leave the necessary documentation so don’t forget anything! This will be licence, medical, logbook, 4 passport photographs and forms that you have completed for BA. You’ll then be invited to wait with the other candidates until a HR person comes to brief you.

There were 12 candidates on my day, but I’ve known it be as low as 5… Experience ranged from an Airbus Captain to somebody with the bare minimum hours quoted on the website. Most were similar to me – current Airbus/Boeing pilots with around 2-3000 hours.

At about 0840 a HR person meets you all and then conducts a fairly comprehensive brief of what the day will entail. The group of candidates will be split up to more manageable sizes (2 groups of 6 on my day) in which the various exercises will be completed. Although I have listed the exercises below in the order I did them, you may obviously complete them in a slightly different order. However, it appears that the Group Exercise will always be done first. At this point, you’ve only known the other candidates a very short time indeed so I guess the recruitment staff can observe your interaction more realistically.

1. Group Exercise

As stated previously, this seems to be the first exercise to be completed. As a smaller group you are taken into a room and sat around a table. There will be two HR people and one pilot who will sit in the corners of the room. Essentially, the task is to pretend that you are all BA managers having a meeting to discuss the viability of a certain route. You all have a booklet each giving detailed information and also a separate sheet each that contains different information to each other. You are all then given ten minutes to quietly familiarise yourself with the data. It’s about a route that is slowly making less and less money. First and Business class is fairly steady. Economy class is gradually weakening. Cargo revenue is constantly increasing. There are all sorts of other little tables and graphs to add to the situation. Additionally, there are choices of aircraft: B777 (current aircraft for the route), B747, B767 and A330. These all have different configurations and cargo capability so the amount of variables is enormous!

Following this ten minutes, it is then an open discussion for thirty minutes. The BA staff observing take absolutely no part in this. They merely watch, listen and make what seemed like constant notes! No Chairman is appointed. There will always be one person who will be the loudmouth and try to take over – don’t let it be you! Conversely, don’t be the person that sits and says nothing the whole time. I’d say being a middle-man is the ideal. We all briefed each other on the different information that we had and then the suggestions followed. Here’s the catch. You must make a decision by the end of the session. With around ten minutes to go just as a decision was close, a HR person will put an “urgent fax” in the middle of the table. This will completely blow all the planning and almost put you back to square one!

I won’t even hint at what decision our group came to as I wouldn’t want it to be an influence to you. There’s probably no correct answer and I’m sure the BA staff don’t give a damn anyway. But more so; how you discussed it; interacted in a group and put across you’re arguments. I’d suggest keeping a close eye on the time or even nominating a timekeeper who has a stopwatch at the start of the ‘meeting’. This person can than help to push the group towards a final decision once the time’s nearly up.

On completion of this exercise, with no de-brief, you are immediately taken back outside to the reception area to wait for the next thrilling instalment!

2. MicroPAT Testing

For those of you who have undertaken OASC at RAF Cranwell, these tests are very similar, but far more modern. We all seemed to agree on the day that these tests were more suitable for recruiting people with no flying experience ie. Cadet entry. Getting experienced pilots to use a joystick to hold a shaky cross over a circle doesn’t seem to me, a particularly good way of selecting someone if they have several thousand hours flying in medium/heavy jets! However, these are the hoops to jump through… There’s no real preparation you can do for these tests other than making sure your mental arithmetic is up to speed. However, I’ll list what tests I can remember so you can get a flavour of what to expect:

(a) ‘Friend or Foe’: This test comes in three parts and consists of identifying whether an aircraft is a friendly or enemy aircraft. Both aircraft look identical except friendly aircraft have a wingspan that is ever so slightly smaller. It appears on the screen and you have 1.5 seconds to decide whether to cancel firing (for friendly aircraft) or to fire (enemy). If you fail to press anything, it fires anyway. By the third test, the wingspan of the enemy aircraft is about one or two millimetres longer and ithe difference is barely recognisable.

(b) Suitcase man: A manikin has a suitcase and you have to say whether it is in his left or right hand. The picture is then shown upside down, back to front etc. All you have to do is continue to select left or right.

(c) Fly an approach: All you have to do is use the joystick to fly an approach. Pitch and roll is in the normal sense. There is also a throttle to control speed. You have to be lined up and at the correct speed by 50x (feet? It doesn’t give the unit). The deceleration is very quick, if you slow too early you run out of fuel. I slowed around 120x and the speed came back to the required 100 knots (? Again no units) by 50x. Incidentally, you get two practices followed by three ‘marked’ attempts.

(d) Subtraction: Fairly straight forward subtractions involving three digit numbers are displayed and you have to press the green button if the answer provided is correct and the red button if it’s wrong. However, your reaction speed is recorded and an average speed calculated. Here’s a tip to speed things up: before doing the whole sum look at the third digits to see if they make sense. Most didn’t. For example, if: 346 – 234 = 114 is shown. Why bother doing the whole calculation when you can quickly see that 6 – 4 does not equal 4! Your score is shown at the end and without bragging, I got 100% on these tests so I know this technique worked.

(e) Boxes and points: This one was quite weird. You have five boxes at the top of the screen. You control which box can have a line ‘growing’ down from it, they grow at different speeds depending on the box (slowest on the left, fastest on the right) that you have chosen. Boxes appear in the screen below that have a value on them which represents the points you are awarded if you can make a line touch it before it disappears. Double boxes carry double points. Your aim is to get the maximum points in each of the 90 second attempts. It’s quite confusing to begin with but soon makes sense.

(f) Orientation on a radar screen: You are shown a picture of a radar screen. North is marked on the top, East on the right and so on. The centre of the screen will always be the aircraft you are in. Instructions are given one step at a time such as 15 North; 20 South. You must remember these directions because they won’t be displayed again. After the directions are given you have to click on the radar screen where the airfield will be. It’s not that easy though because remember that the screen is based on where you are. A tip is to follow on the screen the opposite of the directions. The administrator warns you not to touch the screen with your fingers! Confused? It’ll make a bit more sense when you’re there.

(g) Capacity test: Initially, all you have to do is to use the joystick to control a shaky cross and make it stay in the middle of a group of circles. It’s fairly straight forward. Then you have to wear a headset – fairly simple subtractions are spoken at a fairly steady pace. If one is incorrect pull the trigger and you get a plus point. If you fail to recognise the error or pull the trigger when it’s actually correct, you get a negative point. All this, whilst you are still controlling the shaky cross! Finally, the voice says a shape and colour. For example, if “yellow square” is spoken, next time a yellow square appears on the left of the screen you have to press the yellow button followed by the digit that was inside the square. Sounds easy? Well, you’re still controlling the shaky cross and checking the sums at the same time. Fortunately this is the last test, because everyone felt like their brain was mashed after this!

3. Lunch

The documentation provided said that the timing of the day was really tight therefore the staff canteen facilities would not be available. This is quite bizarre because my group and many others I’ve spoken to had around one and a half hours! Anyway, you have to take your own food and about half-way through one or two of the pilot interview panel will join you. It’s fairly relaxed and they invite questions about lifestyle, pay and conditions etc. But I’m convinced that they’re still assessing and evaluating you even then. It’s a little false because everybody was on their best behaviour!

4. Verbal & Numerical Reasoning

There are two elements to this test. Firstly, you have 25 minutes to complete the Verbal reasoning (50 questions). Forget some of the examples BA send out. This test is purely comprehension. Therefore, look at the Verbal Test section of the ‘Management and Graduate Item Bank 2004’. You are presented with a short passage followed by approximately 5 statements. You have to say whether each statement is: ‘True’, ‘False’ or ‘Cannot Say’. Sounds easy but it’s quite easy to get confused, as it’s a bit unclear as to whether you can make assumptions based on the text or take the text literally. Practice, practice, practice. There are more practice tests on the internet: SHL Group. Go to candidate helpline, and then choose example questions. It’s worth registering (free) as you get quite a few more questions to try out too.

The second portion of this test is the Numerical reasoning. You have 12 minutes to complete this test of 25 questions. Again, it’s worth putting plenty of practice in beforehand. I found a couple of good books to prepare for this – details at the end. The questions given in the examples BA send out are fairly typical. No trick questions. Expect normal arithmetic, algebra, area, fractions and percentages. Again, the ‘Management and Graduate Item Bank 2004’ Numerical Test Questions on page 4 is fairly typical. Also, Test 6 (Numerical Reasoning) of the Technical Test Battery booklet is good too.

All the other tests such as numerical tests based on graph and table interpretation, verbal comprehension, visual estimation, mechanical comprehension, technical understanding, fault diagnosis and spatial recognition do not feature at all so it really isn’t worth wasting your time. Also, nobody finished the tests, I think that’s the idea. From talking afterwards most people seemed to get to about question 30-35 for the verbal reasoning and question 17 or so for the numerical reasoning. The test invigilator gives a very comprehensive brief before the tests begin. You are also allowed to complete about 3 or 4 practice questions. During the briefing, one of us asked if negative marking was in place but she was not allowed to answer that question. The instructions do specifically state though, not to make "wild guesses" so I didn’t take the chance of guessing those I couldn’t finish… Come to think, nor did anybody else – not worth the risk really! I used several good books to help me with this preparation, I’ve listed them at the end.

5. Interview

I thought that this interview was awful! If you’re old enough to be cynical, this will make you even worse. The session lasts about an hour and is with one Pilot (can be a Captain or Senior First Officer) and a HR person. You will be met by the pilot who will collect you from the reception area and take you to one of the many, small interview rooms. The three of you sit around a small table, so it’s not quite as formal or daunting as sat in a big room across a big desk from them! Although they try to appear a little informal and its slight relaxed, don’t be fooled! I wouldn\'t exactly have described the two that interviewed me as the friendliest people I\'ve ever met either...

In the whole hour, I reckon I was asked about very few ‘normal’ questions:

1. Why do you want to work for British Airways?
2. What do you know about British Airways?
3. Why BA? How does it differ to other large UK airlines such as Virgin?
4. What major events have happened to BA on a European level in the last 12 months?
5. Is there anything you think you should have told us?

The large majority of the questions were all competency based and fairly similar to the style you will have completed on the application form. They were all asked in the form, “Give us an example of/when/how....”

1. You have influenced others
2. Dealt with cultural diversity
3. Made a bad decision
4. Made a good decision
5. Taken a risk
6. Dealt with confrontation
7. Define CRM. Example of when you have seen or used good CRM.
8. You have improved customer service.
9. Bent the rules to meet an objective
10. Delivered sensitive news to someone
11. Showed compassion and empathy
12. You’ve made a professional mistake and what you’ve done to overcome it
13. Made a team decision that others haven’t liked
14. How do you share you plans and mental models with others?
15. You’ve made a big decision
16. Others in a team have made /implemented a decision that you disagree with. How do you deal with it? How do you adapt?
17. Done something well
18. Diffused conflight
19. Dealt with an awkward situation
20. Could have done something better

I’ve tried to remember as many as I can but I’m sure you get the idea of the style and can prepare answers accordingly. At the end of the interview, your licence, logbooks, passport etc. are returned and that’s all elements of the selection process completed. Once checking with reception that you are free to go, that’s it. No goodbye, or de-brief. Most people seem to finish approximately 16:30.

6. Preparation Books

In preparation for the selection day I used several books which I believe to be an invaluable resource. Even if you’re not successful with British Airways, they are the sort of useful books to keep on the bookshelf for any other applications in the future.

I’ve also provided links to these books on Amazon (where I bought them). Just to clarify, I’m in no way affiliated with Amazon so I’m sure you could shop around if you wanted to buy them.

- How to Pass Numeracy Tests

- How to Win at Aptitude Tests

- Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions

This isn’t an exhaustive list, merely what I believe to be the best pick of the books I used. That said, I’m sure all books similar to this carry some value in helping you prepare.

7. Success?!

If you are successful on this first day, the next stage involves further aptitude tests and a simulator assessment (BAC1-11). Having finished today, there are three different methods in which they will contact you.

Firstly, if you have been successful and have met all their criteria, expect to receive a telephone call between 1800 and 1900 whilst you’re on your way home. They normally try and get you to come back the very next day to complete the next stage.

If you don’t get the phone call, all is not lost! The selection committee have a meeting every Friday and discuss everybody who attended the selection centre. If you were weak in certain areas but met their criteria for other areas, you may very well get a call. This will be the Friday immediately following your assessment day.

Finally, if you have not met any of their criteria and have therefore been unsuccessful, expect a letter within seven working days.

That’s it. I really hope my experiences are useful and paint a picture of what you can expect when attending Cranebank. Comments are gratefully received but remember – I only wrote as best as I could remember from the day. So can’t really guarantee the accuracy.

Good luck!
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 19:58
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British Airways DEP Selection - THE lowdown Part 2

Chapter 1 of this very long thread can be found here. Chapter 2 continues here.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 20:04
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Apologies TBR, my post that you replied to has gone while I make some changes to it. Am just going to bed, but will try and re-post tomorrow if I get a mo.

But... Yes, I do understand that you probably have to go for a 'Yes' vote. It's just a bit of a knock for a lot of people I would imagine, that's all. I certainly don't have all the facts that you do, but I gather that you have no real choice and Yes is the right vote for you.

As for me. Who knows, but it makes it a little more difficult to follow what I had previously hoped for....

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Old 6th Jan 2012, 20:32
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I realise that a poster on the original BA DEP thread called for less pessimism, however those within the holdpool have to be reminded of a casual fact. There is no guarantee of them joining BA at all! A scale, B scale, BA Express; whatever. Unfortunately the world continues to revolve and goes much further than a few thousand pilots voting on a new pay and productivity scale. For those hoping for employment within mainline, I would be more concerned about the performance of a company within a very volatile marketplace which is only to become more volatile. Also, the amalgamation of 300 odd pilots, which will forerun any DEP or FPP requirement. After all, the short term concern related to this pay restructure relates to them. Obviously, as I aleady stated, the proposal, as intended, will lead to long term changes.

I think I would reiterate though that BA remains an aspiration and it remains one of the very few career airlines left. The proposed 'B' scale is a kick in the bollocks for all concerned. Those currently within BA and those aspiring to it. Yes, it may lead to some having to reconsider. However in an industry which is forever on a downward spiral, I can't say it's surprising. WW and IAG will not run SH at a continuous loss, they will not run bmi forever in its current form (assuming the sale goes through) and I very much believe that if they were given the opportunity to establish an entity with a much lower cost base, they would. I believe this vote is about choosing the lesser of two evils, for time being. WW is there to make money. He is only as good as his previous quarter. Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is king. A very wise man told me that every CEO lives or dies by that phrase. That's all WW is interested in protecting. Whether that is right or wrong, causes disagreement or not; that's the fact. I have no opinion either way. I still regard BA as an aspirational airline for pilots to join.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 21:56
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Hypothetically, had BA not bought bmi - lets say, Branson won the bid - would WW be imposing the new T&C's on the BA pilots?

There is no question that BA will remain an aspiration for many UK pilots regardless of these changes - just look around and see what else is available in the UK, but this is rampant opportunism being exploited by WW...egged on by MOL perhaps?

For SuperStall to suggest studi doesn't understand the issues is crass... The UK could learn alot from the Germans and BALPA alot from the Vereinigung it seems!

If BA SH performance is as dire as suggested, the matter should have been dealt with before WW was able to get his IAG gun out and put it to everyone's head. If the collective had waived their accumulated right to holiday pay, given up a day or 2 of leave, accepted a 5% increase in productivity 6 months ago, perhaps PP34 could have been averted?

It seems quite obvious to me BALPA is still reeling from the OpenSkies fiasco, and, looking from the outside in, I reckon a trick has been missed here. The more complicated your business, the more agile your representation needs to be. Its not as if the Qantas/Jetstar debacle has been going on behind closed doors.

This isn't a dig at the BA pilots. Likewise, we're all cognizant of the economic chaos going on around us. Its tiresome, unless you've got the skill set of George Soros. But it does seem like this is a fait accompli and the BA pilots are about to roll over and capitulate...which seems so unlike them.

Whatever happens, I sincerely wish you all the best.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 22:31
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it does seem like this is a fait accompli and the BA pilots are about to roll over and capitulate...which seems so unlike them.
So maybe, just maybe, there's a little more to it than it would appear to outsiders and the 3,200 pilots who are actually in BA, who have all the info, who understand the situation, have all come to the same conclusion.

For SuperStall to suggest studi doesn't understand the issues is crass... The UK could learn alot from the Germans and BALPA alot from the Vereinigung it seems!
For the love of God, we're going round in circles. Balpa could probably learn something from the Germans, French, Spanish, Mongolians and a couple of recently discovered Amazonian tribes, but it would matter not one jot! IAG/BA/Balpa are OPERATING IN THE UK, within the UK law and IR framework. Why is this so difficult to understand?


I genuinely feel for you. The situation you find yourself in is undoubtably the unkindest of all in this unfortunate episode. Fingers crossed BA will appreciate your predicament and make allowances. Best wishes.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 23:01
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In the hold pool, waiting for date. Having read through the various threads, I don't believe there's much option for the guys with a vote.

Not surprised Ts+Cs are being amended given the current economic climate. Was offered a slot with the other major player and decided to wait out in the pool. After digesting the various snippets of info, I still think I made the right decision.

Things aren't going to be bad, just not as good as they were.

Perspective is required.

Good luck and regards.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 00:43
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What happens if the competition authority block the BMI merger. I presume this is unlikely but what if it does happen. Will pp34 come in, will the annual leave concessions take effect.

I reckon they will, well of course they will because your going to agree to it by march where as the merger will potentially take years. I hope Balpa will protect you from the cuts that your accepting on the basis BMI is merged.....surely a clause will be added??

Is there another union option for new joiners? So far I am not impressed with balpa(I am open to change but I need persuading).

Just a wild question in reference to the hold poolers please don't attack.. We know we have no right to complain about something we don't have and we know we may never fly for BA. Take us as a group In itself. I'm not sure but I believe there's around 140 of us, just because of luck some of us have gotten this A scale irrelevant of join date to the group. Right type rating right time. Life's a bitch, I know......you don't have to tell me I'm a big boy. Its not as clear cut as someone who hasn't applied or completed the selection, the decision is much easier. We applied expecting pp24. We passed when pp24 existed, just because we weren't picked due to random fleet requirements we get a lesser contract. Of course we will probably accept, it's a long and hard road to get into the pool, we won't step out that easily. Long shot I know but does anyone care....Balpa do you care??? You might get my money for the next 34 years...otherwise I'm certainly looking at other options....
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 02:03
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Any changes to contracts are subject to approval by the regulator otherwise it's business as usual.
Whether that status quo will be allowed to continue this decade is a whole different ball game.

ps. I appreciate views of BALPA are wildly different depending on where you are at currently but our views are not presented by ''big balpa'' but the company council who genuinely (okay, some bad eggs in history not included) look out for their fellow professionals. They aren't doing it for the money or kudos that's for sure.
Does anyone think that without representation T&C's across the UK will be better?

pps. Being critical however is required. There have been several developments in BA off late on which I do hold the Council accountable however keep the big picture in mind! There is an aweful lot of shit being shovelled and you can find yourself in the corner within a few years (see Jetstar/Qantas). So it's absolutely essential to pick the fights carefully.
Unfortunately for the forseeable future there will be more give than take....
Damage limitation.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 07:31
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To the hold poolers and future joiners: consider this an early heads up for your future career in BA. It will be constant change. Please don't join and then start complaining about your T&Cs being chipped away.
There are 3000 odd pilots ahead of you that have been dealing with the degradation in earnings and lifestyle for many years. How do you think it comes across when outsiders that don't work for the company start complaining about how the rest of us are taking a hit in earnings and time off?
Sorry to be brutal, but I reckon BA/BALPA have done you a big favour showing you your future career prospects before you have even joined. Now you have a choice.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 08:32
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For the love of God, we're going round in circles. Balpa could probably learn something from the Germans, French, Spanish, Mongolians and a couple of recently discovered Amazonian tribes, but it would matter not one jot! IAG/BA/Balpa are OPERATING IN THE UK, within the UK law and IR framework. Why is this so difficult to understand?
Well until someone confirms that trade union law in Germany - if that really is the sticking point - is fundamentally different from that here in the UK, we're all operating under the supposition that what happened at DLH doesn't apply here.

Which begs the question as to whether or not there is EU legislation that one might be able to appeal to, to "level the playing field" as it were?

I don't know the answers, I'm just curious to understand exactly why DLH experience is not analogous here.

PS: There isn't a UK pilot here who isn't paying close attention to these BA/IAG developments, either directly or by proxy.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 10:39
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what exactly is so different from UK IR law compared to e.g. Germany or France that prevents a pilot group from fighting for better T&C over time?
Like it or not there are major differences across the EU regarding IR legislation, too numerous to go into here. FWIW the differences between French and UK IR law are eyewatering ( ask anyone with an interest in both countries) despite both of them being in the EU, so you really can't read across from the French and/or German rule set and say that those rules must apply EU wide or in the UK.

There's nothing to stop a UK group fighting for better T&Cs for themselves , but your negotiations have to be in good faith ( deliberately outlandish demands made in order to trigger a strike over a secondary issue will lead to an injunction.) and you can't strike over the T&Cs of future employees, or employees of another Op Co....( yet again cf. Open Skies).

I don't like much of current UK IR legislation but we're stuck with it.

Last edited by wiggy; 7th Jan 2012 at 12:09.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 10:48
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The simple fact is that no employee group has the right to strike over a company forming another company outside of their employers AOC. If that were the case then we would all be living in the Socialist Utopia of Government owned Airlines as no private company would be able to form new companies without incurring the wrath of the Unions.

The question being given to the pilots is whether they are willing to give a little to enable the cost effective integration of BMI. If they are not then BMI will be run by IAG as a seperate, competeing company on a lower cost base from LHR.

That's it, that's the question. IAG is only putting this to the question due to the hard work of the BACC in ensuring the members of the IAG board that integration would be better. This is attempting to future protect our T's & C's but, as any of us who have been in this industry for a few years knows, the future is fluid.

If the money makers and politicians in the Euro zone sort out their political penny mess then the future could prop up the profits of SH and allow the timings to be met. If the Euro sinks into the quagmire then the future could be different. I don't know, if I did I would be a richer man than I am now. I would like to be in a position to argue that fight when it comes however not be side lined in a withering branch of a big corporation. If giving up a couple of days leave, a bit of productivity and allowing the formations of pp34 is what it requires then so be it. Even if the spectre of moving to PP34 arises in the future, so be it.

The pilots you malign so much for being spineless have given up much over the past decade to protect those at the bottom. If you don't like it then go somewhere more militant, American Airlines perhaps? Their successful campaign led to AMR being delisted this week, the airline going to chapter 11 and they will force what they want for restructuring from the Unions anyway. Isn't IA a wonderful thing. The head honcho of the Unite Union in the UK came from a failed campaign, Len McKlusky led the Liverpool dock workers to a spectacular Union win in the 1970's which then precipitated the collapse of the Liverpool Docks shortly afterward and the loss of all jobs in Liverpool. Unions at their best through IA?

Simple answer, IA is not an option and even if it were, in the current climate, like the previous BASSA dispute, would be a ludicrous form of professional suicide.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 14:25
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That is where BALPA should come into play, not only the BACC.
Just like BALPA covered themselves in glory (not!) with the recent (non-)industrial action at Virgin, and sold the VCC down the river into the bargain. I don't think there's a pilot in BA with any time for BALPA, but there are many with plenty of faith in the BACC.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 14:36
  #15 (permalink)  
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Guys you can ignore the facts and the law, pat each other on the back and keep agreeing with one another as much as you like, it doesn't change a thing.

The pilots in BA get it and most of the hold poolers who've posted on here get it.

The only people seem unable to grasp whats at stake are pilots working in other countries for other companies, some bitter and twisted cabin crew chap/chappess, and I'm sorry to say you Hi Wing. You are all as irrelevant to the final decision as BASSA are to the merger negotiations.

I'm off to debate with the grown ups. Wasted enough energy here trying to help.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 16:30
  #16 (permalink)  
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You're living in a dream world. BMI has just been through the wringer, their pilots haven't had stable rosters for years and they haven't known their future for years either.

They have been the ball in a huge game of piggy in the middle and they are now coming out of it to go on strike?

Get real, how long have you been in this industry? Hi Wing came out of CTC in 2003 so is in his first full recession and already harping on about how we all should go on strike to support his future terms and conditions and we're all spineless if we don't. My thoughts are that if that is your view you're welcome to it but don't bother trying to come and work for the same company I fly for. I've seen a fair few more recessions than you and I can tell you that, historically, T's & C's have always been reduced. I don't mind fighting for a worthy cause but to prevent new joiners having to accept 34 pay points whilst the retirement age goes up to 65 isn't one I'm willing to risk my job over. When you are in my position then you'll more than likely be the same.

There will be no IA, no strike, no vote as there is nothing to strike over.

BMI will not strike as IAG could just wind the company up and re-allocate the slots, leasing them out to other airlines until IAG is in the position to use them again.

Instead of you're blinkered view of what is right and what is wrong perhaps you need to look at the greater, wider view of the mess the industry is in before demanding that 3000 pilots jump on the Union bandwagon to protect you.

Not going to happen.

I see an acceptance of the terms and the amalgamation of BMI into BA. End of story, welcome to the new joiners. If you don't like it or disagree with the result, find a job elsewhere. I've heard Emirates are really open to Unionistic mantra.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 17:24
  #17 (permalink)  
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studi, I think you should pay attention Wirbelsturn and Super Stall. The vote, for BA pilots, is for the lessor of two evils. There will be no fight coming from what is left of bmi. Their employees are under no disillusion here. bmi was a failed entity under the LH umbrella. The only saving grace was that it held something of great value to IAG. Hypothetically speaking, if no one agreed to bmi's purchase, what would LH have done with it? Would they continually accept the fact that it would never make any money for them? Bmi resides in a market that the Great Houdini himself couldn't transform in the favours of LH. The airline would have been run down, everyone would have been made redundant and everything else asset stripped. I'm not sure how the slots at LHR would have been distributed, I have no clue; however IAG obviously weren't prepared to take that risk.

The fact that the bmi pilots will be integrated, the fact that BA SH isn't performing, the fact that APD will be raised again, the fact that the retirement age has risen, the fact that Europe is on its arse and the fact that IA gains absolutely no public empathy at the moment is all in WW's favour. As already stated the vote on the 24 point pay scale and current productivity rates was an inevitability. All of the above has only accelerated his. WW is just being a clever and has seized his opportunity.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 17:27
  #18 (permalink)  
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I have no idea where you are coming from but lets look at both your scenarios.

1. BMI will slowly be dead, pilots transferred to BA, slots taken over for longhaul expansion at BA. The whole BA Express thing was a bluff. So no need in the beginning for pp34 etc.
BMI won't be slowly dead, either it remains as an AOC holder and a seperate company within LHR or it gets merged into BA. BA does not have enough long haul aircraft to transfer the slots to. There is not enough manufacturing capacity to make enough long haul aircraft to fit the slots in the short term. Not only that for Long Haul slots to be 'valid' you must tie them together with arrival slots at the destination and routing through the global NATS structure. Neither of which come cheap or easy. If that were the case then I'm sure Lufthansa would have done it.

If BMI is to be pulled into BA it will have to continue to operate its slots within the structure of BA Short Haul as the BA scope clause states that any aircraft operated out of LHR which is owned and operated by BA must be flown by mainline pilots.

Thus the lists, legally, must be merged. IAG want payment for this option.

They don't want more pilots working to 65 on 24 pay point scales.

2. BMI will be used as a vehicle to take over planes from BA. So now of course BMI will be profitable. Now the pilots have a case to fight for better T&C.
Why isn't BA shorthaul profitable out of LHR? If it is so easy for BA to make BMI profitable why haven't they done it in their own back yard so to speak? I don't know if you operate out of Heathrow but, in the simplest of terms, the turnaround times other carriers enjoy in smaller airfields are impossible to match. The hours flown per annum by LHR SH pilots is lower purely because it can take hours to turn the aircraft around at London thus eating up your available FDP. Oddly enough this also precludes your other premise of a 'Lo Cost' model for Short Haul BA. It would not work through Heathrow.

Now look at the 'profitable' BMI, they threaten strike and the 'non expansion' BA crews are there to pick up the routes. Catch 22, BA SH Mainline have seen their aircraft disappear, their routes disappear and their future prospects disappear into an airline which is now striking for comparible terms and conditions. Long term strategy you say, long term suicide is the reality.

The only problem with trying to use IA to push up your T's & C's is that you need to make yourselves indispensable, if you're not then the wet leasers, opportunistic flight crew and ruthless management will lunch you.

The logisitics behind running a SH airline and a LH airline are very different. Combining the two is also very tricky.

I don't seem to remember any major successes on T's & C's from Vereingung Cockpit outside of the outsourcing of the pension funds.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 17:45
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I think what Studi is trying very patiently to tell you all is that Lufthansa and its union had the organisational skill and the balls to take action against any reduction in their Terms and Conditions.

BACC and BALPA over the years have allowed, and agreed, a reduction from APS, through NAPS1, NAPS2, BARP and now what?

Now, Little Willy has got you all over a barrel for he knows you won't fight back.

After all, he even persuaded BACC and BALPA to let BA pilots run up and down the cabin serving drinks in order to beat a cabin staff dispute not so long ago. (I most certainly would not have done that).

I learned a long time ago in my "union" career that, if you don't have a dog in the fight, stay out of it. If you do have a dog in the fight then you absolutely have to play hard ball with management otherwise they will take you to the cleaners.

Lufthansa pilots obviously have the ability to see into the future.

Can you just imagine a LH pilot acting as cabin staff in order to break a strike?

As I predicted, not one single BA pilot will give up what he already has. It's called " you Jack, I'm all right".

Sorry to say it, but that is the way it is going to work out.
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 18:28
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I think we'll have to agree to disagree with respect to a position of IA in BA. The simple fact is that whilst DLH was buying up every basket case airline in Europe, BA was going bust with share prices dropping to £1.05 and the prospect of a hostile takeover if it dipped below £1.

Why hasn't BALPA taken the hard line stance? Simply, from my perspective, not necessarily from others but the expansion potential for BA has always been curtailed out of Heathrow, the regulatory body always against it and the pressures on the £ generally being on the bad side of difficult.

The trading positions, slot ownership levels and regulatory freedom between the two carriers is wildly different. We would all dearly love to have everything we had back in the 80's when I started but, in the UK at least, hard stance IA would have had us back at the job centre re-applying to a new AOC airline.

As I said before, I don't see either of your scenarios playing out at 'Lago North' as you like to call it. I think we are just arguning around in circles and leading the thread off track.
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